This weekend was Labor Day and this year, we went to the beach and then had some families over for some grilling and hanging out. The beach did not go quite as intended (Sand fleas and rain? Really? Still fun though.), but the grilling was nice. However, I did get mocked for having 4 desserts with only 1 main course, but it was 1 dessert per family… That’s sane, right? We made asian-ish steak tip/kebabs (others provided yummy sausages and zucchini and fruit salad), and then had berry fool, strawberry citrus ginger sorbet, key lime popsicles, and blubbery crumble with vanilla ice cream for dessert. Recipes below!
Asian inspired steak tips/kebabs
From Cooks Illustrated New Best Recipes
2 lbs steak tips
1/3 cup soy sauce
3 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tbsp sesame oil
3 medium garlic cloves minced or pressed through garlic press
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice (is what I used, recipe called for 2 tsp zest from 1 orange)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 medium scallion, sliced thin
Baby bella mushrooms, green and red peppers, and an onion cut to kebab size (about 1-2 inches)
Mix all but the meat, mushrooms, peppers, and onion in a bag. Put the steak tips and mushrooms in the marinade. Marinate for at least 30 minutes. At the same time soak some wooden skewer in water. Brush peppers and onions with oil and salt and pepper. Skewer meat and veggies (works best if you make separate meat and veggie ones since they will cook at different rates). Grill till done.
From Cooks Illustrated
Note: I accidentally made double the whipped cream portion of this and only a single portion of the berry stuff. The consensus was very tasty, so YMMV with following actual instructions.
30 oz strawberries (6 cups)
12 oz raspberries (2 1/3 cups)
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp unflavored gelatin
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
1/4 cup sour cream, chilled
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 Carr’s Whole Wheat crackers, crushed fine (1/4 cup)
1. Process half of strawberries, half of raspberries, and 1/2 cup of sugar in food processor until mixture is completely smooth, about 1 minute. Strain berry puree through fine-mesh strainer into a 4 cup liquid measuring cup (or a bowl). You need 2 1/2 cups puree, if you get more use it for other things, I suggest mixing it with the key lime popsicles. Transfer 1/2 cup puree to a small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over the top of the puree (try to spread evenly and thinly); let sit until gelatin softens, about 5 minutes, and stir. Heat remaining 2 cups puree in small saucepan over medium heat until it begins to bubble, 4-6 minutes. Off heat, stir in gelatin mixture until dissolved. Transfer to medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until well chilled, about 2 hours (over night is fine).
2. While that is chilling, chop remaining strawberries into rough 1/4 inch pieces. Toss strawberries, remaining raspberries, and 2 tbsp of sugar together in a medium bowl. Set aside for at least 1 hour (again over night is fine).
3. (This would be the part I accidentally doubled). Right before serving, using either a stand mixer or a hand mixer, whip cream, sour cream, vanilla, and remaining 2 tbsp of sugar on low speed until bubbles form, about 30s. Increase speed to medium and whip until beater leaves a trail, about 30s. Increase speed to high and whip until the mixture has nearly doubled in volume and holds stiff peaks, about 30s. Transfer 1/3 cup whipped cream mixture to a small bowl and set aside.
4. Remove berry puree from the refrigerator and whisk until smooth. With the mixer on medium speed, slowly add 2/3rds of the puree to whipped cream mixture, mix until incorporated, about 15s. Then, using a spatula, gently fold in remaining puree, leaving streaks of puree.
5. Put some of uncooked berries in the bottom of some serving glasses. Add the cream berry mixture, then top with rest of berries. Then top each glass with the reserved plain whipped cream mixture. Sprinkle with crushed crackers. Eat deliciousness.
Summer Blueberry Crumble
From Cooks Illustrated
1/2 cup sugar
4 tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
25 oz (5 cups) blueberries
2/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
6 tbsp unsalted butter cut into 6 pieces and chilled
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Combine sugar, cornstarch, and 1/8 tsp salt in large bowl. Add blueberries to bowl and toss to coat. Transfer to 8 inch square baking dish.
2. Process flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and remaining 1/8 tsp salt in food processor until combined, about 5 pulses. Add butter and pulse until dime-sized clumps form, about 14 pulses. Transfer crumble to bowl and pinch together any powdery parts. Sprinkle crumble evenly over blueberries.
3. Bake until filling is bubbling around edges and topping is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let cook for at least 30 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream. Or once fully cooled you can wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerator for 1 day, bring to at least room temperature before serving (I heated ours back up to warm in a 200 degree oven).
Key Lime Popsicles
From Smitten Kitchen (her recipe is here, she was having a popsicle bonanza recently)
Makes 10 popsicles
Note: If you don’t have key limes, you can absolutely use regular limes (as I did for the zest). For added awesomeness, use some of the berry puree from the berry fool to make even better popsicles.
2 tsp key lime/lime zest
3/4 cup key lime juice
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup half-and-half (or, 1/2 cup heavy cream + 1/2 cup milk)
Pinch of salt
3 cups coarsely crushed graham crackers or Maria cookies (I actually skipped this)
Put zest, juice, condensed milk, half-and-half, and salt and whisk together until thoroughly combined. Pour into popsicle molds (if using the berry puree pour it in first, or leave some space at the end to pour it in). Freeze for about 5 hours, or until completely frozen.
Dip in lukewarm water for 10 seconds to unmold each popsicle and press each side into crushed cookie crumbs, coating completely.
Strawberry, Citrus, Ginger Sorbet
On this blog previously here.